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Firwood Timber in Formby have closed down after the council served an enforcement notice on them

Firwood Timber in Formby have closed after the council served an enforcement notice on them. The building is now boarded up with all fencing and signs completely gone.

Firwood Building & DIY opened its doors in Formby on 6th June 2016 at which time they failed to apply for the relevant planning permission and change of use prior to opening. It’s definitely fair to say that Firwoods have not been open or transparent in their dealings. They clearly knew they needed Planning Permission and a Change of Use for the site but decided that they would not apply for it and just open up anyway.

This business is suited to an industrial site and not in a residential area right next to a conservation area. It appears that they think they can just do what they want and were making a mockery of the planning system.

Firwood recently put a fence up without planning permission, which they needed, and then applied for retrospective planning permission which was refused due to the height of the fencing. The issue went on for some time between Firwoods and the Council and eventually the council served an enforcement notice for the fencing to be removed but, they could have put back the lower fencing they originally had if they’d have wanted to.

This seems to be the way of Firwood, first they opened up without planning permission, then they put a load of signs up without planning permission and then the fencing without planning permission, all in the hope that when they apply for retrospective permission after they had done it, it would be granted which it was not for the fencing.

We now understand that the reason Firwood cleared the site was that it was not viable to keep it open and obviously once the council had served notice on them to remove the fencing, they cleared the site before having to take the fencing down for security reasons.

Cllr Maria Bennett said: “I did try to speak with the head office of Firwoods but was met with a rude and obnoxious person who kindly informed me, when I asked what was going on, that if I was a councillor then I would know and that the council told them to take the fence down.  I obviously informed her that whilst I WAS a councillor I did not know everything that went on in the council.”

“I have however spoken to Sefton Council who have confirmed that they did issue an enforcement notice to have the fence removed as it did not have planning permission.”

“I don't know what is going to happen with the land as Firwoods own it. Maybe it will come forward for some housing but at this stage, I don't know.”

“I am also aware that all they have put round the site are concrete bollards, probably to prevent vehicles going on there but if anyone sees anything else going on, on the site, then please let me know and I will see what I can do about it.”

Formby Bubble also tried speaking to Firwood but they point blank refused to speak to us and hung up on the call.

Several residents who neighbour this development objected to it. They had several concerns, not least of which is the existence of the old fuel tanks that have still not been removed.



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